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bigben07MVP

Which training camp battle are you looking forward to most?

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Posted (edited)

Figured I would post a thread about all the expected training camp battles and see who you guys want to win each one? 

1. QB2 - Mason Rudolph vs Joshua Dobbs

2. RB2 - Benny Snell vs Jaylen Samuels

3. WR2 - Dionte Johnson vs James Washington vs Donte Moncrief

4. Slot - Ryan Switzer vs Eli Rodgers

5. RT - Matt Feiler vs Chuks Okorafor vs Jerald Hawkins

6. ILB - Mark Barron vs Devin Bush

7. CB2 - Steven Nelson vs Justin Layne

8. CB4 - Cam Sutton vs Artie Burns

I've bolded the players who I want to win. Doesn't necessarily mean who I think will or should win. For example, I think Feiler will probably end up starting at right tackle day 1 but I am hoping Chuks shows out in training camp enough to win the starting job because he has greater potential long term and we used a 3rd round pick on him last year.

I think Moncrief will be the day 1 starter across from JuJu, but I'm hoping James Washington shows out enough to warrant starting and show that we didn't waste a 2nd round pick last year and we desperately need him to step up and be a deep threat for us this season.

Benny Snell might be my favorite player from this draft class not named Devin Bush. I said it before, but if he shreds off some weight like Bell did coming out of college, he could end up being a similar type of player. Have him be the RB2 and play Samules in the Mewelde Moore role. 

The battle I am most looking forward to watching unfold would be Mark Barron and Devin Bush. Obviously we all want Bush to step up and be a stud starter from day 1 against the Pats, but Barron has performed at a high level in this league for a long time and has similar traits and play style as Bush. Barron is not going to lay over and make things easy on Bush. Hopefully both of these guys push each other and we hear a lot of reports about the both of them flying around on defense, playing like their hair (dreads) are on fire, and forcing turnover all throughout TC. 

Thoughts? Did I miss any potential TC battles?

 

Edited by bigben07MVP

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I’m excited to see all the battles that you’ve listed. I disagree with your assessments on some but definitely no major problems with what you’ve said. I’m really excited to see Layne in camp this year. The corner depth chart is going to e interesting. I’d like to see of Layne shows enough to get some playing time and what that would mean. He would most likely play outside and kick Nelson into the slot, but what does that mean for Hilton? 

I’ll comment on the battles you’ve listed in a few hours. I’m on my phone now and I’m about to go to therapy so I don’t have time now. Head shrinkers take precedent lol

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Our difference in opinion is with Hilton. I’m expecting a big bounce back year for him now that he’s not dealing with his shoulder injury. He claims that was he max at 80% last year after week 3. PFF (fwiw) had him rated as like a top 3 slot corner in 2017. Even in a “down” year he was still pretty good in coverage and was never exposed out there, just didn’t make nearly as many splash plays.

If Layne is going to be a starter he needs to out play Nelson, not Hilton in my opinion.

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dobbs vs mason is at the top for me since it could have a big impact of the future of this franchise due to the important of the position and ben's age

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7 hours ago, bigben07MVP said:

Our difference in opinion is with Hilton. I’m expecting a big bounce back year for him now that he’s not dealing with his shoulder injury. He claims that was he max at 80% last year after week 3. PFF (fwiw) had him rated as like a top 3 slot corner in 2017. Even in a “down” year he was still pretty good in coverage and was never exposed out there, just didn’t make nearly as many splash plays.

If Layne is going to be a starter he needs to out play Nelson, not Hilton in my opinion.

I agree with a lot of what you say. I’m not pessimistic with Hilton. I think he has a good shot at bouncing back. I was more saying that it seems like a good problem to have. If Layne plays so well that he forces the coaches hand, we’ve suddenly got too many good corners. That’s a problem we’ve never had lol. I really do think the plan is to give Layne plenty of time to learn and then have him take Haden’s spot the year after this. 

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Mason Rudolph vs. Josh Dobbs because of what it could mean for this franchise.  Dobbs isn't the guy, he could be a good career backup but we all know he isn't the guy.  If Mason can't beat him out, that should be a concern.

Let me ask you guys a follow up here; IF Mason Rudolph does win the #2 job, do we trade Dobbs and keep Devlin Hodges?


Second is the RT position for me because I think all of those guys can be contributors and make the roster, it'll be interesting to see how they push each other and which guy can make the biggest leap.

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sutton vs burns shouldn't occur, as burns would have to reinvent to compete. 

Bush vs Baron is another I don't understand since williams should be the one on the sidelines while these 2 start.

I would say that Adeyini possibly finding his way into the rotation at the expense of dupree would be the one I am waiting to transpire .  I doubt Loa gets a fair chance in trying camp to become the starter, but if by mid season bud is still like he was last year, then that could change. 

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Bush and Barron being the full time starters at middle linebacker would leave us too vulnerable against the run IMO but we will see. Not saying that won’t happen but they would both have to play incredible to send VW to the bench.

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I think we will see a heavy rotation between VW and Barron where VW will get most of his work against the run or on blitzes.

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I’m interested to see how CB and WR work out. 

WR, IMO, comes down to James Washington. I think his camp does more to the slot position than the battle of Switz and Rogers. If Washington takes the jump (I think he does, but we will get into that another time) than I see Moncreif as the field stretcher and JuJu and Washington alternating in the slot and out wide, based on where they want JuJu. 

If that does occur - I think I the roster battle becomes Johnson Vs Switzer at returner. If Johnson wins, I think Rogers is the 4th receiver. If Switz wins, Rogers hits the cut line. 

CB for the reasons that have already been talked about. I was very disappointed in Hilton - injury or not. There were he was bad at ever phase of the game. I don’t think Layne starts (or should start), but would love to see a battle there at least. 

I don’t think ILB is much of a battle. I think Bush gets the green dot and plays every down and Williams and Barron swap for each other based on situation and sets. 

OL has a bunch of interesting back end battles too. Will be interesting to see how that plays out. 

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I think it would be best for the team if Chuks wins the RT spot. Feiler might be a bit better right now but he won’t be for long. Feiler also can play OG, but probably isn't athletic enough to play as an extra TE. If Chuks wins that means Feiler can be a super sub and the team can keep Hawkins. He’s more than enough athletic to play TE. Plus, I think Hawkins could maybe one day start. He’s just been unlucky with injuries. If Feiler wins, Hawkins probably gets cut.

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On 6/8/2019 at 12:24 AM, bigben07MVP said:

Figured I would post a thread about all the expected training camp battles and see who you guys want to win each one? 

Good post and very creative for this time of year to get the pre-training camp football juices flowing.

1. QB2 - Mason Rudolph vs Joshua Dobbs

I think Dobbs will the win 2019 back-up job in a close race, but Mason will be Big Ben's eventual replacement (probably 2021 or 2022).

I think he can have an Aaron Rogers/Joe Montana like transition to the NFL by sitting and learning. Don't take my statement out of context. I am not saying he is going to be a sure fire all pro or future hall of famer, but that he is game ready when he gets asked to play and his transition should be very smooth after sitting. He has a higher ceiling than Josh in my humble opinion.

2. RB2 - Benny Snell vs Jaylen Samuels

Snell the better downhill runner. Samuels the better pass catcher.  Samuels advantage in picking up blitzes in pass game (one year's NFL experience here). In 2019 I see Samuels first off the bench, but I can see Snell assuming the short-yardage RB role (3rd and 2, etc.). I think both can share some carries to keep Connors fresh.

3. WR2 - Dionte Johnson vs James Washington vs Donte Moncrief

I think Moncrief starts the season as the starter and becomes a legit deep threat for Big Ben.  I also think that Washington plays more like he did in the pre-season of last year than he did in the regular season.  I think that the three of them combine to come close to AB's production (without the drama). Each will assume a different role: Moncrief starter deep passes, Johnson some slot work and screens, and Washington as the #3 who can do some of everything. None of these guys are AB, but utlized properly, combined the three could come close to matching his production: Moncrief 45 catches 560 yards 4 TD's. Washington 48 catches 480 yards 5 TD's. Johnson 25 catches 360 yards 3 TD's = 118 catches, 1400 yards, 12 TD's.

4. Slot - Ryan Switzer vs Eli Rodgers

Eli is extremely under-rated and under-utilized for his talents. There were times over the past few years when he was open and Ben threw elsewhere.  I know he had some discipline issues in regards to route-running and knowing the plays early on before his injury. He is tailor-made for the role of a #4 slot guy. However, there is something about Switzer that I feel in my gut that says this guy shows out in the return game and as a #4 slot specialist.  I liked him in college and I like what I saw of him last year. Give him another year in the offense and with Ben, and I see some better numbers and comfort in our offense. No AB means he will get a few of those force passes to AB.  I do think that they both make the team as they are in the top six (Ju Ju, Moncrief, Washington, Johnson, Switzer, and Eli).

5. RT - Matt Feiler vs Chuks Okorafor vs Jerald Hawkins

I love Matt Feiler. He is an ole school McNasty at OL.  He doesn't have great physical tools and is the guy every team is always looking to upgrade, but never seems to. Chuks obviously has the biggest upside and potential. He will be a future starter, but I think Matt starts and Chuks is the swing OT.  Hawkins has potential too, but if you can never get or stay on the field, it doesn't matter.  I doubt the Steelers keep 9 OL's and that is the only way that I see Jerald making it.

6. ILB - Mark Barron vs Devin Bush

Both will start.  Because Barron is really an in he box SS.  I don't think this hurts our defense in run game and adds an added dimension in pass coverage.  I don't see the Steelers in a lot of base 3-4 anyways.  They will be Nickel and those will be your saftey-backers.

7. CB2 - Steven Nelson vs Justin Layne

Nelson all the way. Let this kid develop and get coached up. He is Brian Allen with more natural tools and footwork. I love his size and ability as I do Allen, but both of those players are projects at CB.  The results could be very good when and if they develop.  I am an Allen fan as well.

8. CB4 - Cam Sutton vs Artie Burns

This may be the "Road to Perdition" for both players with the drafting of Lane and if Allen improves like he did last year. You know what you get from both of these players and both have under-performed.  Cam is on the bubble and if Byran Allen has any semblance of a pulse, Artie is history.

I've bolded the players who I want to win. Doesn't necessarily mean who I think will or should win. For example, I think Feiler will probably end up starting at right tackle day 1 but I am hoping Chuks shows out in training camp enough to win the starting job because he has greater potential long term and we used a 3rd round pick on him last year.

I think Moncrief will be the day 1 starter across from JuJu, but I'm hoping James Washington shows out enough to warrant starting and show that we didn't waste a 2nd round pick last year and we desperately need him to step up and be a deep threat for us this season.

Benny Snell might be my favorite player from this draft class not named Devin Bush. I said it before, but if he shreds off some weight like Bell did coming out of college, he could end up being a similar type of player. Have him be the RB2 and play Samules in the Mewelde Moore role. 

The battle I am most looking forward to watching unfold would be Mark Barron and Devin Bush. Obviously we all want Bush to step up and be a stud starter from day 1 against the Pats, but Barron has performed at a high level in this league for a long time and has similar traits and play style as Bush. Barron is not going to lay over and make things easy on Bush. Hopefully both of these guys push each other and we hear a lot of reports about the both of them flying around on defense, playing like their hair (dreads) are on fire, and forcing turnover all throughout TC. 

Thoughts? Did I miss any potential TC battles?

Some Backups positions that I would like to see some fresh new blood: OLB Ola, Marcus Allen at SS, a fat guy with a pulse and dinner bell for Mt. McCullers.  Big Dan has been one of my biggest disappointments as a Steeler.  I actually thought he would be a draft steal.  The guy has the tools, but just can't seem to put it together.

On 6/8/2019 at 12:24 AM, bigben07MVP said:

 

 

On 6/8/2019 at 10:02 AM, bigben07MVP said:

Our difference in opinion is with Hilton. I’m expecting a big bounce back year for him now that he’s not dealing with his shoulder injury. He claims that was he max at 80% last year after week 3. PFF (fwiw) had him rated as like a top 3 slot corner in 2017. Even in a “down” year he was still pretty good in coverage and was never exposed out there, just didn’t make nearly as many splash plays.

If Layne is going to be a starter he needs to out play Nelson, not Hilton in my opinion.

I don't see Lane being ready to be an NFL starter week one or even week sixteen.  That said, Nelson would be able to move inside if another CB stepped up. I believe that Mike Hilton is the real deal at Slot CB.  He will have to prove me wrong. I like his upside, how he plays and what he brings to the team.  I look for him to have a big bounce back season.

On 6/8/2019 at 10:08 PM, bigben07MVP said:

Bush and Barron being the full time starters at middle linebacker would leave us too vulnerable against the run IMO but we will see. Not saying that won’t happen but they would both have to play incredible to send VW to the bench.

Since when has VW played well in the run game let alone incredible anytime?  No bash to VW, but he is average at best.  he is an above average cross blitzer, and while he played the run better in 2018 than he did in 2017, our run defense improved not because of VW as much as a healthy Stephan Tuitt.  VW is not instinctive and at time is slow diagnosing plays and taking the proper angle to shift through the blockers and make a tackle.  I thought Bostic played the run much better than VW. Vince actually improved in his ability to drop in coverage.  The team put him in some bad positions as pass coverage is not his forte, but he played more than respectable there and eventually started getting more snaps with Fort inside.

On 6/9/2019 at 11:25 AM, MOSteelers56 said:

I think it would be best for the team if Chuks wins the RT spot. Feiler might be a bit better right now but he won’t be for long. Feiler also can play OG, but probably isn't athletic enough to play as an extra TE. If Chuks wins that means Feiler can be a super sub and the team can keep Hawkins. He’s more than enough athletic to play TE. Plus, I think Hawkins could maybe one day start. He’s just been unlucky with injuries. If Feiler wins, Hawkins probably gets cut.

Luck is where preparation, hard work and opportunity meet.  That equals Matt Feiler not Hawkins in my book. Hawkins has a boat load of talent, but unitl he proves he can get and stay on the field, I am skeptical about him. He is as unreliable as Gilbert became. Another great talent who couldn't stay on the field. I agree with what you said about Chuks or Hawkins being the more athletic to play swing.  Just not enough roster spots for the three of them.  Raise the roster size to 59 or 60 and do away with that game day guessing crap and let all 59 or 60 players dress game day. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 9:24 PM, bigben07MVP said:

Thoughts? Did I miss any potential TC battles?

I'm interested in the kicking and punting. Are they really going to have a serious competition?

Also, while it seems that they've given Bud Dupree the OLB position opposite TJ Watt, I'm curious to see how many reps with the 1's other guys will get.

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33 minutes ago, cjfollett said:

I'm interested in the kicking and punting. Are they really going to have a serious competition?

Also, while it seems that they've given Bud Dupree the OLB position opposite TJ Watt, I'm curious to see how many reps with the 1's other guys will get.

I forgot about the kicking competitions.

Interestingly, I believe that Boz becomes a Killer B again.  Injuries and a lack of confidence hurt him. I think he bounces back big time.

As far as the punters, I am not as confident.  I do know someone with the last name or part of their last name Berry will win it (Berryman).

I have not been a fan of Jordan's as I think he has taken too long to develop or more realistically after four years of punting, he is who he is as a punter.  I think he is up-gradable.

I am also shocked that ST Coach Danny Smith remained with the team.  I have not been a fan.  The Steelers have been inconsistent in special teams as a result of coaching in my humble opinion.  They have some return guys and some guys who can run and cover.  I don't get it.

I think Ola will be given every chance to be the first guy off the bench.  This year and training camp will be make or break for Chickello.  I like the undersized, but tenacious Sutton Smith.  He is by no means an ideal candidate for OLB with his height and size, but he spells winner to me. Like Chickello, this guy will bust his tail.  I just think hos results will be better thank Chickello's in a year or so.

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On 2019-06-11 at 10:45 AM, cjfollett said:

I'm interested in the kicking and punting. Are they really going to have a serious competition?

Also, while it seems that they've given Bud Dupree the OLB position opposite TJ Watt, I'm curious to see how many reps with the 1's other guys will get.

you're not the only 1 9_9 that sees it as this. I don't think the other players get much time in the rotation when the regular season is here until dupree either gets hurt or just doesn't improve and they give up on him. 

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